If you recently bought some discus fish for your tank there’s a good chance you’re already in love with them. They’re such spectacular fish that add a lot of charm to any tank.
That’s why it’s so frustrating if you don’t get to see them often enough. Are your discus fish hiding a lot in the tank right now?
You’re probably wondering why these fish would choose to hide. Is this an indication that they aren’t happy in the tank?
Keep reading to learn more what leads to this common problem.
New Discus Fish Might Hide
New discus fish that are just being introduced to the tank might hide at first. This is a pretty common behavior that many types of fish display.
So if you recently bought the fish and put them in the tank it might not be anything to worry about. After several days or a week, things should become normal.
How Long Do New Discus Hide?
How long new discus fish will hide in the tank depends on various factors. However, it’s common for the fish to hide for several days or even a bit longer than a week.
Eventually, the fish should acclimate to the tank and become more comfortable. It helps when you’re keeping these fish in large enough groups so they will feel more confident.
Hiding Isn’t Usually Normal
Hiding isn’t a normal thing that these fish should always do, and you always need to take notice when you see that discus fish are hiding. It’s a sign that something is wrong in the tank.
There could be several different things happening. Below, you’ll learn about some of the reasons why discus fish might hide in the tank.
1 – Incompatible Tank Mates
Putting the fish in a tank with fish that they aren’t compatible with is never a good idea. Your discus fish could be hiding due to having aggressive tank mates.
If your discus fish are in a community tank, take the time to make sure that all of the fish are compatible. Look for signs of aggression in the tank and see if any of the fish are getting bullied.
You might need to make some changes depending on what’s going on. If necessary, move the fish to a different tank to try to remedy the situation.
Also, keep an eye out for aggression among the discus fish. There’s always a chance that the discus fish might be fighting among themselves to establish dominance.
2 – Not Keeping Enough Discus Fish in the Tank
Discus fish are schooling fish that should be kept in groups. Some people keep them alone or in pairs, but they’re meant to be kept in groups of six or more.
Enthusiasts recommend buying at least six of these fish to get the best experience. Some say that owning just three discus fish is perfectly fine, though.
Even if there are differing opinions on the matter, it’s important to know that these fish will feel less confident if kept in tanks with too few of their own kind. Remember this and be sure to buy enough discus fish for the tank so they will feel comfortable.
Six discus fish will fit perfectly in a 60-gallon fish tank. The general rule is that each discus fish requires ten gallons of space.
If you plan to keep these fish in a community tank, make sure that there’s enough room for all of the fish. Go with a larger tank than necessary just to keep things safe.
3 – Poor Water Conditions
Poor water conditions will cause discus fish to hide as well. These fish become stressed easily when the water quality isn’t where it needs to be.
You must pay attention to the water parameters or these fish will get ill. When they’re having a tough time with the water they will hide and act sluggish.
Test the water immediately to see if you need to make changes. Do regular water changes and make more of an effort to keep the tank clean.
You need to test the water regularly using pH balance testing kits. Water changes should be done multiple times per week to keep the quality as high as it can be.
If you’re not ready to put in that amount of effort, it’s not wise to own discus fish. These fish require quite a bit of attention and you can’t just leave the tank alone and expect everything to be okay.
It helps to have a larger tank and a good filter, though. This makes it a bit easier to keep the tank clean.
4 – Sickness
There’s a chance that your discus fish is hiding because it’s sick. The fish getting sick could easily be related to water condition problems as mentioned above.
You’ll find that there are many diseases that these fish might have to deal with. Some of them can kill the fish if you don’t take action.
So you should pay attention to the symptoms to see what’s going on. If you notice that the fish seems unwell you should try to diagnose the issue and start treatment as soon as possible.
You can reach out to an exotic veterinarian if necessary. Hopefully, your discus fish aren’t sick, and fixing the water quality issues will be enough to turn things around.
Do Discus Need Hiding Places?
It’s good to give discus fish plenty of hiding spots in the tank. They should be able to hide from time to time when they feel the need.
Earlier, you learned that hiding is normal when the fish are introduced to the tank. Hiding later on is usually a sign of stress or it’s a sign that something is wrong in the tank.
However, it’s important to have hiding spots so that the fish can get away from each other. There will always be minor issues where fish will bother each other and they will want to get away.
Put plants in the tank so the discus fish will have simple hiding spots. It’s recommended to go with plants that are easy to care for and don’t require too much effort.
Why Is My Discus Hiding in the Corner?
When discus fish are hiding in the corner of the tank it’s normally a sign that they’re unhappy. The fish is likely unhappy with something in the tank.
It might take you a bit to figure out what is wrong. You might discover that the fish is unhappy due to you not having enough discus fish in the tank.
The hiding might simply be related to problems with water quality. You need to do the work to figure out what is wrong based on the information that you learned today.
Test the water and observe what is going on in the tank. Try to see if your fish is sick and pay attention to whatever symptoms you notice.
If you take action now you might be able to turn everything around. Ignoring the issue will only allow things to get worse.
Remember that these fish are a bit fragile. They might die if they become too stressed and get very sick.
Now you have a much better idea of what you should be doing. You should have an easy enough time helping your fish and making sure that they will feel comfortable in the tank.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.